REALWorld Law

Sale and purchase

Specific legislation

Does a special set of laws apply to the transfer of title to any of the following types of real estate: residential, industrial, offices, retail and hotels?

Angola

Angola

No. The above mentioned laws apply to all.

Australia

Australia

The laws applying to transfer of title do not differ based on the nature of the real estate involved.

However, each Australian state and territory has legislation which can have an impact on the form and content of sale and purchase agreements depending on the nature of the property involved.

Belgium

Belgium

No.

However, depending on the location of the real estate, ie the Flemish, Walloon or Brussels Capital Region, different environmental regulations apply. The location will also affect the applicable registration duties regime and the activities that can be conducted on the property according to zoning regulations.

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina

In general, the civil law regime applies to the transfer of all types of real estate.

Canada

Canada

The general laws applying to transfer of title do not differ based on the nature of the real estate involved. However, each province or territory may have laws which impact the form and content of agreements of purchase and sale or impose disclosure requirements, taxes or other requirements with respect to the conveyance of certain kinds of real property.

For example, in some jurisdictions, vendors of real estate that has been used for certain industrial or commercial purposes must provide an environmental site profile to prospective purchasers.

China

China

No, the laws governing the transfer of real estate do not differentiate between different types of real estate.

Croatia

Croatia

No. However, some real estate cannot be purchased by foreign investors, including agricultural land, forests and areas of natural beauty.

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

No. The general system of legal regulation applies.

Denmark

Denmark

The Consumer Protection in the Purchase of Real Estate Act, dated 22 September 2015, applies to purchase agreements where the real estate is primarily being used for residential purposes for the seller or where the buyer means to use the real estate primarily for residential purposes. The law does not apply to undeveloped properties, properties where construction has begun but has not yet been completed or to real estate that is required to be used for agricultural or farming purposes.

The Real Estate Agent Act, dated 28 May 2014, applies to commercial offer and sale of real estate, commercial procurement and the purchase and sale of real estate and other commercial advice regarding the sale of real estate when such activities are aimed at or conducted on behalf of consumers.

The Valuation of Real Estate Act, dated 30 August 2013, applies to public valuation of all real estate in Denmark.

France

France

Different legal regimes apply to transfers of title to different kinds of real estate and there are a number of different tax regimes. There are no specific provisions linked to the industrial, office or retail sectors.

Germany

Germany

No. The laws on the transfer of title apply to all types of property in Germany.

Hong Kong, SAR

Hong Kong, SAR

No.

Hungary

Hungary

There are certain restrictions on the acquisition of arable land by foreigners and a prohibition on its acquisition by legal entities, whether foreign or domestic.

In addition, non-EU citizens and legal entities may acquire real estate only with the consent of the competent administrative office.

Furthermore, the transfer of protected buildings (eg historical or cultural heritage buildings) as well as state and municipally owned buildings is also subject to certain restrictions.

On the basis of the laws introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in certain cases the acquisition of real estate assets critical to carrying out the activities of certain strategic sectors with an ownership structure involving directly or indirectly certain foreign elements may require a notification to, and acknowledgement by, the competent Hungarian ministry.

Ireland

Ireland

A broad range of legislation affects property transactions in Ireland, including that covering:

  • Registration of title
  • Family law
  • Taxation
  • Planning

In addition transfers of title to hotels, restaurants and pubs are subject to certain liquor licensing legislation.

Italy

Italy

The regime for the transfer of title is the same, irrespective of the property's use. Shorelines, beaches and waterways (such as harbours, waterfalls, lakes, rivers and other stretches of water defined as 'public' by the applicable law) are part of the Natural Domain (Demanio Naturale). Title to these assets cannot be sold.

Japan

Japan

No. The legislation mentioned in the ‘Real estate legislation’ section applies to the transfer of all types of real estate.

Netherlands

Netherlands

No, except for residential real estate.

In a consumer sale of residential real estate, it is not allowed to derogate to the detriment of the buyer from articles 7:1-38 of the Civil Code (except for articles 7:12, 7:13 sentences 1 and 2, 7:26 and 7:35 of the Civil Code, as long these derogations are not stipulated as general conditions), and in such sale there may be no limitations on, or exclusion of, the legal rights and remedies of the buyer for any failure in the performance of the obligations of the seller (article 7:6 Civil Code).

Nigeria

Nigeria

The laws regulating transfer of interests in land apply generally to all categories of real estate.

Norway

Norway

No. The Alienation Act normally regulates the transfer of title to all types of real estate, although professional parties (companies, etc) may contract out of the Act.

Poland

Poland

No.

Portugal

Portugal

No. Generally, there is not a special set of laws for each of these types of real estate.

Romania

Romania

As a general rule, the Romanian legislation does not provide for separate rules differentiating between residential, industrial, retail properties, office buildings and hotels.

Slovak Republic

Slovak Republic

The transfer of flats/apartments and non-residential premises, such as office space, is subject to a special regime under the Act on Ownership of Apartments and Non-residential Premises. The Civil Code applies accordingly, together with a general set of laws covering all transactions.

The Act on the Leasing and Sub-leasing of Non-residential Premises does not apply to the transfer of non-residential premises but governs their letting and subletting.

Spain

Spain

No. In accordance with article 1255 of the Spanish Civil Code, the parties are free to agree the conditions of sale as long as they do not contravene any law or moral code, or pose a threat to public order.

Sweden

Sweden

Due to legislative changes, specific rights of pre-emption and approval do not apply as of 1 May 2010.

It should also be noted, however, that a co-operative building society may have a right of pre-emption over certain real estate. A tenant of land may also have a right of pre-emption if the tenancy is in the form of a residential ground lease or certain types of agricultural ground lease.

Thailand

Thailand

No.

United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi

No, there is no specific set of laws applying to any one type of property in either Abu Dhabi or the Abu Dhabi Global Market free zone.

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

No. There are no specific laws applying to the transfer of properties according to their use.

UK - England and Wales UK - England and Wales

UK - England and Wales

For industrial real estate, offices, retail property and hotels, no.

With regard to residential property, different standards and procedures apply that give additional protection to residential buyers.  The Government is continually increasing regulation in this area.

UK - Scotland

UK - Scotland

Not as such. However, contracts for the sale of commercial property tend to be drafted in a different way from contracts for the sale of residential property. Commercial property contracts are necessarily more complex. For example, a contract for the sale of an investment property will deal with:

  • Warranties relating to the leases affecting the property
  • Provision for the recovery of arrears
  • Service charges and rental apportionments
  • Management and service contracts, and other matters

Contracts for the sale/purchase of commercial property are therefore tailored to the specific requirements of the parties concerned.

Contracts for the sale of commercial property tend to be drafted in a different way from contracts for the sale of residential property. Residential contracts are moving towards a standardised approach which streamlines the process and provides for similar terms and conditions.

Ukraine

Ukraine

Different legal regimes apply to transfer of title depending on:

  • the type of real estate (land or other real estate);
  • the type of ownership (state, municipal or private); and
  • the status of the buyer (non-resident, resident, joint venture etc).

In such cases special laws apply, eg the Law of Ukraine ‘On the Privatization of State and Municipal Property’ No. 2269-VIII of 18 January 2018 and the Law of Ukraine ‘On the Privatization of the State Residential Fund’ No. 2482-XII of 19 June 1992.

United States

United States

Not generally, although certain state laws may be targeted at specific classes of property. For instance, special environmental disclosure laws apply in some states with respect to certain categories of industrial property and some states impose protections for the security deposits of residential tenants upon a transfer of title by their landlord. Additionally, almost all states have laws specific to the sale of residential properties, typically between end users and typically involving required disclosures by sellers.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

There are no special laws that apply to the transfer of title in respect of a specific type of real estate. All transfer of title is done in accordance with the Deeds Registries Act [Chapter 20:05].